IoT – the next career move for developers

by Heat Recruitment

By Glen Pearse

The Internet of Things is undoubtedly one of the fastest growing areas within IT today. Beyond the consumer sphere, this technology is now emerging in enterprise applications – particularly industrial. The IoT market itself is set to be valued at $267bn by 2020. When translated to GDP, this equates to the 43rd largest economy in the world – above Finland, Portugal and Chile, according to World Bank figures.

Indeed, connected technology is the future, with enterprise adoption rising significantly. 2017 has seen a twofold increase on the number of IoT projects implemented, and the percentage of companies with more than 50,000 active, connected, IoT devices doubled within the last year. Unlike its consumer counterpart, however, enterprise IoT technology has significantly different requirements – ones which make regulation, compliance, and even security a minefield.

For IT professionals, particularly programmers, this adoption comes with a huge potential increase to the number of projects in the future. According to Gartner, 8.4bn connected “things” are predicted to be in use by the end of 2017 – just over 3bn of these will be used for business applications. By 2020, this number will rise to almost 8bn alone – still short of that used in consumer applications, however, but a huge industry and opportunity.

Adoption, therefore, is dependent entirely on demand – and as the use of IoT systems becomes more apparent in business, the requirement for this new technology will rise accordingly. Surveys have now placed C++, Python, Java, JavaScript and Node.js as the most in-demand programming languages for IoT technology – showcasing strong parallels with our recent article on the languages commanding the highest pay packets.

AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform were revealed as the cloud platforms of choice. Notably, of those IoT professionals surveyed, 74% of respondents noted that their company is either currently, or will be developing and deploying IoT solutions within the next 18 months.

The vast majority of developers (55%), in addition, confirmed their IoT development was undertaken entirely in-house at their place of work. Just 12% of respondents noted they developed systems in their own time. Of the developers spoken to, a huge 46% confirmed their biggest concern was security – followed by interoperability (24.4%), and connectivity (21.4%).

IoT, whilst currently popular, is set to boom once its growing pains (i.e. security) have been addressed. Connected technology is set to be placed at the heart of smart-projects – systems already exist to control various elements in smart buildings, and even in traffic systems across the world to minimise traffic jams. For developers, this can only be good news. A greater demand for new, better systems creates a greater demand for specialist staff to create said products. On maintenance, it stands to reason that as the number of devices in existence rise, so too will the requirements for upkeep, upgrades and general maintenance.

Developers and their associated skillsets, therefore, are set to see a huge increase to the demand for their services. Amidst the current skills shortage, said developers will naturally be able to command a far greater level of remuneration for their roles – doubly so for contractors.

At Heat Recruitment, our IT division is perfectly placed to help you navigate the future waters of IT. We’ve created a treasure trove of best practice and career advice for IT specialists in our Ultimate Guide to IT Jobs. For assistance with the future of your career, or advice on where to look next, get in touch.